KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — After COVID-19 put the kibosh on the Plaza Art Fair as we know it, the festival is back celebrating 90 years.
“It’s just a tradition that’s quite beautiful,” said Arielle Thomas Newman.
“We have about 1,300 artists that applied,” said Country Club Plaza General Manager Kasey Bena. “We’ve got over 200 artists that are here.”
Many have been coming for decades.
“When I lived in Puerto Rico, I’d come back in September just to be sure I did this,” said Greg Jones of Roeland Park.
This 90th year is kind of like always.
“Exhilarating. It’s awesome. It’s a lot of fun,” said artist Michael Kemper.
Except that last year it wasn’t.
“Last year was a bummer for a lot of reasons,” said Bena.
So there’s a degree of gratitude for this good time.
“Much appreciated, especially after the year that we’ve had,” said Keith Ross.
“It just feels good to be out with people again and doing things that we normally do, or used to do,” said Erika Lusco.
“I love all the people here,” said 6-year-old Brooks Smith.
But for his parents and sisters, the special part is less about the energy of all those other people around them than the ones they came with.
“Because our dad‘s leaving, and we want to spend more time with him before he leaves,” his 8-year-old sister, Ella, explained.
“My husband is leaving on Tuesday for deployment,” her mother, Katrina Smith, continued.
Her youngest, Reagan Perkowski, filled us in on where he works.
“The Air Force!” she said in a chipper 3-year-old’s shout.
Her dad intended to add to his collection Friday. It’s a collection that costs nothing and means everything.
“Those hugs and those kisses and stuff like that that you can get before you are gone for a little while,” said Greg Smith.
He said he’ll be stationed as a firefighter in Dubai for the next six months.
The art fair continues Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.